5th GradeI walk up the stairs and collapse on my floor amongst the dirty socks, pens and pencils, and other junk. A ripped up piece of cardboard lies on my unmade bed. I groan. How am I ever supposed to begin to clean this mess?
My parents had told me that if I wanted to keep on taking singing lessons that I would have to clean my room and keep it that way. I don’t get it. It’s my room and it doesn’t bother me, so what’s the use in cleaning it? My parents can’t just take away something important to me because they don’t like the way that MY room looks.
I hear Mom walking up the stairs. She opens the door to my room.
“I don’t see you cleaning,” she says. I just groan. “You know what?”
“What?” I ask
“This is just like baking a cake.”
“How?” I ask, confused. “How on earth is cleaning my room like baking a cake?”
“Well. There’s something you want. Right?”
“Yeah… Singing lessons.”
“Right. So let’s pretend that singing lessons are a cake.”
“Now in order to get this cake you need to do certain things like buying the ingredients, mixing the batter and putting it in the oven. Right?”
“In this situation, the things that you need to do to bake your cake are to keep your room clean and to be responsible. If you are willing do that, then you can have your cake.”
“Okay.” I say, “I think I can do that but I still think you’re being unreasonable.”
“That doesn’t matter. I’m your mother and you do what I tell you to do whether you like it or not.”
Mom turns around and walks out of my room. She slams the door behind her. I just pick up a book and start to read. I don’t feel like cleaning right now and I probably never will.
4 weeks later
I never got around to baking my cake. I think inside I knew I wouldn’t do it, but I kept telling myself that something would magically happen. It wasn’t that I didn’t want it enough; it was just that I felt like I had what it took to prove that I needed singing lessons. I didn’t think that cleaning my room should be what proves something about the way that I sing. It’s too late now to do anything.